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KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26: According to City Monitor website, Kuwait may not aspire to emulate the glitz of regional rivals, but through the plan of the New Kuwait 2035 Vision, it is hoping to compete in attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), reports Al- Qabas daily. The website explained that Kuwait has a long history of foreign investment, as the Kuwait Investment Authority was established in 1953. It is therefore the oldest sovereign wealth fund in the world and one of the largest, with assets worth $700 billion.
Kuwait has developed the New Kuwait 2035 Vision to define its plans for diversifying its economy in order to reduce dependence on oil, and restore balance to the labor market with a shift towards the private sector. This is aimed at turning the country into a financial and commercial center that attracts investors. Kuwait considers foreign direct investment as one of the pillars of its development vision, and it aims to increase its flows by 300 percent and raise $1.3 billion annually. On the contrary, the total foreign direct investment coming into the country before the COVID- 19 pandemic witnessed a decline in relation to the gross domestic product during 2018 and 2019, reaching levels lower than what it was in the previous three years.
Foreign direct investment flows to Kuwait reached their historical peak in 2011 at $3.26 billion, compared to only $104 million in 2019. The country registered 695 new investment projects that year, compared to 1,051 projects that Bahrain, for example, attracted. According to Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Agency (KDIPA), the value of the investment projects being implemented in the country is $200 billion. They are distributed in the sectors of construction, energy, water, transportation, electricity, industrial and chemical projects, information and communication technology, biodiversity and pharmaceuticals. The KDIPA spokesperson said Kuwait has specific features that make it a promising investment location for investors such as high per capita income, prudent monetary policy, sound banking system, strong stock market, and educated youth.